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30 January 2018

Scientific Report for Proposed Mount Manengouba Herpetological Sanctuary Validated

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 Scientific Report for Proposed Mount Manengouba Herpetological Sanctuary Validated

The Technical Note for the Proposed Mount Manengouba Herpetological Sanctuary has been validated. The document which officially seeks government’s permission for the creation of the protected area, was approved, January 16, 2018. This occurred during the validation workshop, which took place in the Chambers of Agriculture, Fishery, Livestock and Forest in Bonanjo, Douala.

By Joyce Mbong &Stanley Acham

The validation of this Technical Note, was a culmination of several working sessions between the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) and the Cameroon Herpatological Conservation Biology Foundation (CAMHERP-CBF), technical staff on the draft Technical Note since November 2017.

Chairing the workshop, the Littoral Regional Delegate of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), Mbelley Julien Desire, saluted the contributions of ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF to Biodiversity conservation in Cameroon. He implored both organisations to be steadfast and industrious in all they do in conserving the country’s biodiversity. The Regional Delegate expressed his earnest desire for the Proposed Mount Muanenguba Herpetological Sanctuary to be gazetted. This according to him, will greatly contribute in assisting the Government meet up with her objective of putting about 30% of the country’s estate under permanent protection.

On his part, Tchassen Arnau, representing CAMHERP-CBF, underscored the significance of transforming Mount Muanenguba into a protected area.

“Mt Muanenguba is a water shed for the river Moungo and Wouri, it also has a variety of reptiles and amphibians endemic to the mountain and which are also of high conservation status. Converting this area into a protected area is a way of meeting up with the governments objectives that of protecting about 30% of forest land. Also, the living standards of the local communities will improve through the provision of alternative livelihood activities,” he explained.

Though, validated, Divisional Delegates of Forestry and Wildlife for Moungo and Littoral were asked to go to the field to confirm all the information on the Technical Note, most especially the boundary demarcations. This is to avoid any land dispute or other confrontations with the surrounding communities when the area is eventually protected. This activity will be carried out before the technical note will be submitted to the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF).

Once this confirmation visit is made to the proposed protected area, the technical note will be submitted to MINFOF for evaluation. In case of no descending voice, MINFOF , will approve the publication of a Public Notice, formally indicating government’s recognition.

Besides the validation of the Technical Note, the workshop equally culminated in agreement that the proposed protected area will be called Mount Manengouba Herpetological Sanctuary, upon creation.

The Technical Note validation workshop brought together several MINFOF authorities from the Littoral and South West Regions (Regional Delegate of MINFOF Littoral, Regional Chiefs of Wildlife and protected Areas (SRFAP) for Littoral and South West and the Divisional Delegates for Moungo and Kupe Muanenguba) and the technical teams of ERuDeF and CAMHERP-CBF. It was carried out with the support of Rainforest Trust-USA.

30 January 2018

CAWI Puts Smiles On Faces Of Needy Girls In GHS Buea Town

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CAWI Puts Smiles On Faces Of Needy Girls In GHS Buea Town

Some 19 underprivileged teenage girls enrolling at the Government High School (GHS), Buea Town, breathed a sigh of relieve, Wednesday January 24, 2018. That was after receiving donations in cash and kind from the Centre for the Advancement of Women Initiatives (CAWI).

Yanick Fonki

The donations comprising of 22 Text books, 5 school bags, and a partial GCE registration of 20,000frs, comes on the heels of CAWI’s objective of advocating for better living condition of women and girls, irrespective of their status.

In a solemn but joyous ceremony organised at the assembly block of GHS Buea Town, the members of CAWI sensitised the student body on the role women play in the society. They disclosed that it was on that premise that the organisation decided to identify girls who were either orphans, of single parents, or of very poor background, to come to their aid and give them the necessary academic assistance.

“CAWI seeks to enhance the socioeconomic wellbeing of women and girls through intervention in areas such as women and girls’ education. Empowerment through education is achieved in this case through women education funds and assisting needy girls. The selection modality was based on identifying girls who were either orphans or of single parents, and others who came from very poor background and could not obtain the required school needs,” highlighted Nkembi Lucia, Coordinator of CAWI.

The Coordinator of CAWI went further to indicate that the donation will go a long way to better education for the girls and also multiply Cameroon government’s education for all efforts.

“It is hoped that, the recipients will make effective use of the items received and this will not only lead to improved academic performance, it will go a long way to meet government policy of reaching out to the underprivileged and quality education for all,” Nkembi Lucia added.

Meantime, the members of CAWI urged the studies to make maximum use of their donations so it can improve on their academic performance. They indicated that it will only be on that basis that many other girls will receive academic donations.

While accepting the donations, the recipients showed high sense of appreciation and promised to utilise their gifts, so they can enhance their education.

“I wish to that the members of CAWI immensely for thinking about us this way. It would have been a very long and struggling academic year, should gestures like this would not have come our way. We promise to put to maximum use, these gifts, so we can serve as good examples to future CAWI donations,” said Aghafui Chanceline Adangabit, student of Form 1B and laureate of a brand new bag and books.

Some who could not hide their emotions, burst into tears while thanking CAWI for reviving their hopes.

“I had not been certain whether I would write the GCE this year, until now. I have nobody who caters for my educational needs but myself. I am so grateful to CAWI for wiping my tears (she burst into tears) and giving me new hopes in my academics. I shall forever be indebted to them,” confessed Esseme Celestine, an Upper Sixth student and laureate of partial GCE registration fee of 20,000frs.

CAWI is a project of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF). It was formed after realising the need for a separate programme for women. It has as objective, to intensify on women activities and to handle the several challenges faced by women and girls.

The donations were realised with support from ERuDeF and special support from Dr Mari Greever in UK.

30 January 2018

Tinto Clan Community Forest, ICRAF, Sign MoU On Bush Mango

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Tinto Clan Community Forest, ICRAF, Sign MoU On Bush Mango

The Tinto Clan Community Forest (TCCF), Manyu, Southwest Cameroon, has put pen to paper for a second time, with World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The solemn ceremony that took place recently in Buea, comes on the heels of multiplied efforts in the production of Bush mango ( Irvingia gaboneses) at industrial scale.

Signing on behalf of TCCF, Tabi Ferdinand, the Forest Management Officer (FMO) said members of his community forest are resolute in producing large quantities of the Non-Timber Forest Product (NTFP). He indicated that his team were gainfully occupied in the first phase of the project, hoping that the second phase brings good tidings.

“I am overwhelmed as my community is the first CF in the South West Region to have benefited from such a wonderful project. I promise to work together with my team to produce social, economic and environmental benefits for the community. All will be put in place before the Bush mango season came June 2018,’’ he added.

Speaking also during the ceremony, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ERuDeF, Louis Nkembi, urged the FMO to manage the resource properly and formulate mechanism to roll out mismanagement of funds. He indicated that if this enterprise is managed in the right manner, the community will witness great development in the shortest possible time. In addition, it will attract more donors into the community.

The Tinto CF is estimated to have over 2500 trees of Bush mango. A Bush Mango tree if well fruited can produce 3 to 4 sacks of cracked wet weight Bush mango kernels. So 2500 trees can produce 7500 wet weight kernels which will give 5000 dry weight Bush Mango kernels at full capacity.

To achieve this, the community will employ 6 groups of 10 people among which will be collectors, crackers and extractors.

Summarily, at full capacity, the CFE will produce 5000 dry Bush Mango kernels, spend about 7500 FRS on a sack and sell at an average price of 20000 FRS.

With available labour and finance to exploit this resource it can be very lucrative business venture. The contract signed with ICRAF will just came to make this a reality.

The TCCF is the first community in the South West Region to benefit from Dryad funding. A contract worth 23 million was signed earlier in August between the TCCF and ICRAF facilitated by ERuDeF. And recently a 2 nd one worth 18 million was signed for the Bush mango enterprise.

The Dryad Project seeks to reduce deforestation, improve environment, and improve social welfare of participating communities and also to create economic resilience. The project is aimed at provided financial and technical support to viable CF to enable them improve on their social and economic status as well as ensuring the health of the forest.

The projected is being facilitated by ERuDeF, with funds from World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF).

By Henrietta Kilang

 

30 January 2018

ERuDeF Thrills SW Farmers With Best Agricultural Techniques, Products

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 ERuDeF Thrills SW Farmers With Best Agricultural Techniques, Products

Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has demonstrated to farmers and residents of the Southwest Regions best agricultural products and practices.

The agricultural exhibition which took place at the SW, Buea Omnisport stadium brought together farmers from all nooks and cranny of the SW region, who came to showcase the magnificent agricultural products they got from their agronomic activities.

Honey, palm oil, Echinops gigantus and Mondia whetei, were some of the agricultural products displayed on the ERuDeF sales stand at the event. These products attracted so many customers who did not hide their contentment for the satisfaction they get from consuming ERuDeF’s agricultural produce.

“I am fortunate to have come across ERuDeF products, especially its palm oil which I have been a loyal consumer for over 6months now. I use it to cook my eru, achu and many other delicious dishes which need good red oil.” Madam Ayuk Justine briefed ERuDeF staff present at the event.

The event was an unavoidable opportunity for the products to be displayed for wider visibility and also to sensitise all who cared to visit the stand about some best agricultural practices that can help them boost their farm yields.

The fact that products from ERuDeF are got from communities around protected areas as a result of change in livelihood sources for resource poor farmers who encroach protected areas is an added advantage. Many visitors to the stand took much interest in the fact that ERuDeF does not only act as mediator between communities and markets for their agricultural products, but also ploughs back the little profit it gets from the sales of these products to be used for biodiversity conservation purposes.

“I must commend ERuDeF for the wonderful work they are doing. It is difficult these days to find a person who works not for his benefits but for the general good. Their actions go a long way to help not just the environment but also human beings. I will always contribute in my own little way to help their efforts.”Mr Tashi Thomas, who bought 5 liters of honey, lauded ERuDeF.

ERuDeF since its creation, has not relented in its objective of promoting rural agriculture in Cameroon. Apart from conserving protected areas, the organisation also has as objective to alleviate poverty in these rural areas by providing alternative livelihood sources and better farming techniques for these farmers.

By: Melvis Takang

30 January 2018

Business Models for CPFAM Community Forest Developed

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 Business Models for CPFAM Community Forest Developed

Two business models to cater for the enterprising needs of the Christian Philanthropic Farms and Missions Community Forest (CPFAM-CF), have been developed. The models developed recently in Ndian Division, Southwest Cameroon, covers four 4 villages under the CPFAM-CF. They include; Itali Batanga, Massaka, Epongi and Bombangi.

According to the business models, the communities chose to invest in the production and marketing of Njansa (Ricinodendron heulotii), and Bush Mango (Irvingia gaboneses). These products have been chosen because they are abundant in the forest and it’s a familiar activity within these communities.

According to the proposal, all households will be involved in the production of Njansa. Meanwhile, women will be responsible for the bush mango sector.

After all calculations were done, the community selected possible projects which they intend to carry out with the proceeds accrued from the above enterprise. Such projects included; constructing more classes for the lone primary school in Itali, hire PTA teachers, provide boreholes to 3 villages, construct a First-Aid Post and modern ovens for cocoa, protect identified water sources and donate pesticides to farmers.

At the end of the exercise, community members expressed their satisfaction for this wonderful opportunity which will enable their CF to be active. According to the Regent Chief of Itali, the exercise was eye opening and a symbol of hope for them. He said they will do all in their power to make this succeed once the models are financed.

The women’s leader was equally happy. She promised to rally the women of Itali and engage the other women leaders of the other villages to take the project seriously. She said the possibility of having a first aid post in the village will be a dream come true especially for woman and children.

The models developed recently, serves as a condition sine qua non to obtaining funding for the Dryad project. According to the guiding principles of the Dryad project, business models should be profitable, sustainable with social, economic and environmental benefits on communities.

It is within this framework that the management and community members of the CF developed business proposals on the production and sales of bush mango and njansa on a large scale.

By: Sheron Endah

30 January 2018

72 Farmers At Mt Bamboutos Adopt Agroforestry System

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72 Farmers At Mt Bamboutos Adopt Agroforestry System

Some 72 from four villages situated on the Lebialem Division flank of Mt Bamboutos, have adopted the agroforestry technique of agriculture. This was during a 6-day sensitisation meeting carried out in all the villages recently.

The tour embarked on by the Lebialem Forestry Coordinator, Ntungwa Elong, was aimed at sensitising farmers of four chiefdoms adjacent to Mount Bamboutos on the importance of agro-forestry practises, for the PPI5 project.

The four sensitization meetings were carried out in Fonenge, Aghong, Atsualah and Magha Chiefdoms.

According to the farmers, the agroforestry system is the best practice, suitable for farming in their area, where acquiring suitable land for agriculture is a problem.

“We have a problem of suitable land to plant our crops. The landslides, coupled with too much stones, limit us to a particular area for farming. However, with the agroforestry technique, I can be able to invest in a small portion of land, and still get the required yields,” Pa Jerome Tongwa, one of the farmers said.

The farmers were particularly happy learning new agroforestry techniques.

“We have learned quite a lot from this sensitisation meeting; we have learned about alley cropping, how to invest in a small portion of land with the agroforestry technique and still get the required results, and lot more,” Amy Nkafu confessed.

The Lebialem Forestry Coordinator, during this sensitisation tour, also underscored the importance of economic trees in the restoration of the degraded Mt Bamboutos.

“We will like to know the types of economic trees species that do well in this area. This is because such trees will beside helping in the restoration of the ecosystem also benefit you the farmers directly through the harvesting and selling of fruits from the trees,” Elong elucidated.                         

Mr. Elong equally used this opportunity to enlighten the farmers on the consequences of poor agricultural practices on the landscape. Such practices, according to him have led to water shortages, soil erosion, deadly landslides, climate change, biodiversity loss, low crop yields and poverty in many house hold around the mountain.

The sensitisation tour was carried out at part of the PPI-5 project, which seeks to contribute towards the restoration and conservation of the biodiversity of the Mt. Bamboutos ecosystem. It also seeks to improve on the living conditions of the local population. The project implementation is facilitated by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), with funds from IUCN.

By Ntungwa Elong

30 January 2018

Recent Landslide Heaped Heavy Damages on Biodiversity Conservation In Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary - Investigation

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Recent Landslide Heaped Heavy Damages on Biodiversity Conservation In Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary - Investigation

Counting the Cost:

In the month of August 2017, a devastating landslide occurred around the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, Lebialem Division, Southwest Cameroon. Four (Essoh-Attah, Fotabong III, Etabang and Elumba-Mbo) out of the five villages that constitute the Mak-Betchou area suffered heavy material and financial losses.

Ngueping Samuel

Unfortunately, the heavy loss recorded on flora and fauna around the proposed sanctuary, cannot be over emphasised. From heavy cocoa plantations, to loss of canopy trees, rodents, and some carnivores, the heavy mudslide that hit the area, had untold damages to biodiversity conservation.

“The day landslide occurred, we saw how many big trees like White wood, Mahogany, palm trees, cocoa farms and animals like rat mole, Mongoose, cane rats, and many others, were being brushed away in the entire area where Mak river passes,’’ Says Ebe Bernard, a local Oil Mill Operator in Essoh Attah.

Another inhabitant Njingo James, added that all the cocoa trees and other fruits trees closer to the Mak river bank, were carried away. He stated that at least five years would be required for the vegetation cover to regain its natural status like before. Many community members testified that they have seen dead animals and reptiles lying in neighbouring forests were the flooding occurred.  

The river bank that could not been seen from far distance, is now open to clear view. People have created new roads were nobody could pass under normal circumstances.

If care is not taken to prevent landslide and flooding in the locality in the years ahead, human population as well as the biodiversity are going to continuously suffer the consequence of environmental hazards.

In order to prevent landslide and floods, there is a need to avoid farming, settling and excavating rocks on steep slopes. Deep rooted trees should also be planted to hold the soil from moving, while dumping waste in streams and water ways should be avoided. Embankments should equally be raised to avoid overflowing of streams; adequate drainage done to channel run-off properly, meanwhile community members need to be sensitized and educated on land slide/floods management.

The Proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the south of Lebialem Division forms part of the Lebialem highlands forest, in the north-eastern part of South West Region. It is about 10 km west of Menji the Divisional headquarter of Lebialem Division. It is the most refuge area of the African elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis), Chimpanzees, Birds, fishes as well as plants species.

30 January 2018

Lewoh Women Cooperative Society Gets OHADA Status

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Lewoh Women Cooperative Society Gets OHADA Status

The Lewoh Women Cooperative Society (LeWoCoS) has been officially legalised as per the dictates of the OHADA (Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Laws in Africa) Laws.

This was done recently, after the executives of the Cooperative Society, successfully fulfilled all legal requirements

The documents needed for its official legalisation were compiled and deposited at the Divisional Delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER), Lebialem. The documents were studied with some corrections made and transmitted to the Regional Delegation of MINADER in Buea within a period of one month. All these led to the official legalization of LeWoCoS by the end of December 2017.

The entire process was facilitated by the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), who ensured the registration of this cooperative following the OHADA format.

LeWoCoS is engaged in three key activities; collection of Mondia whetei roots, rearing of pigs (piggery) and production of other agricultural products. Each befitting member is liable to a minimum number of one share, amounting to10,000 FRS.

Following the OHADA laws adopted on the 15th December 2010 at Lome, all laws associated to Cooperative societies are harmonised under a single code. Reason why all cooperatives must be validated by the OHADA code, in accordance with the law.

By Njang Quddus

30 January 2018

Cameroon Biodiversity Expedition Initiative:

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Cameroon Biodiversity Expedition Initiative:

We Came In Direct Contact With 5 Chimps – Volunteers

Some two international volunteers who recently camped in the heart of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, have expressed total extolment for the biodiversity of this protected area. This was after a two-week’s research expedition in the Wildlife Sanctuary, wherein, they came in direct contact with 5 chimpanzees.

“Am so lucky to have seen the Chimpanzee in the wild for my first time taking into consideration the drastic reduction in population and the surface area of the sanctuary.Contributing to the conservation of this amazing species has always been my concern and am happy to be part of the Cameroon Biodiversity Expedition Initiative. It was very challenging climbing and descending steep hills and valleys but I could do that over and over since they preferred such in-accessible places to hid from human encroachment,” elucidated Justine Matton, one of the volunteers.

The volunteers, in the company of portal and guides, camped and conducted biomonitoring and planting of camera traps. Besides the direct observation of the 5 Chimpanzees, the volunteers also witnessed feeding signs, food print, nests, dung, vocalisations and tracks of apes and other large mammals were encountered on several occasions. They planted 20 Camera traps.

“Am happy to have contributed to the conservation of Apes with ERuDeF, initially I was wondering how the trip will look like. I assisted in setting the camera traps; follow up with the monitoring protocol to understand what is being done. It was a lovely experience for me waking up everymorning to see the beauty of the rain forest with lovely songs from birds. It was very peaceful for me and gave me a room for reflection. Everyday came with its own challenges and overcoming the daily challenges was what I look forward to,” expounded Marco Vander Veken, another volunteer.

To save the remaining 300 Endangered Cross River Gorillas and the Cameroon- Nigerian Chimpanzee from extinction in the Tofala Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, a series of Biomonitoring has been conducted to determine the population status of the great apes and to determine the rate of human encroachment in the area.

By

ANGWA GWENDOLINE

11 January 2018

ERuDeF Management, Staff Validate 2018 Operational Plans

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ERuDeF Management, Staff Validate 2018 Operational Plans

The management and staff of the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF), have screened and validated the Organisation’s 2018 Operational Plan. They validated the plan of activities and anticipated results, during the ERuDeF 2017 Annual Review and Planning Meeting (ARPM) that took place from December 4 to 8, 2017. The five days long meeting was held at the conference room of the Regional Delegation of Forestry and Wildlife for the Southwest, Cameroon.

BY: Yanick Fonki

Each department presented their 2017 results and impacts, and then their 2018 Operational Plan, plus anticipated results. The departmental Head (Directors), took turns to x-ray their departments, before giving a vivid picture of how they intend to forge the Organisation ahead through their departments.

The Department of Forestry plans to continue the creation of more community forests, and the upgrade of the FMU-1100; Agroforestry Department plans to continue its tree planting advocacy, with extension to other parts of Cameroon, Conservation Department plans to facilitate the classification of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary, and the development of the Management Plan of the Tofala Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. Meanwhile, the Department of Training and Professional Development plans to continue training more conservationists and also produce peer review journals. Meantime, it shall also carryout capacity building drills for ERuDeF Staff.

The Department of Communication plans to embark on robust visibility campaigns of the activities of ERuDeF through a number of objectives. Also, the Department of Livelihoods and Economic Development plans to continue providing alternative sources of livelihood to communities adjacent to protected areas. Meantime, the Department of Development and Philanthropy like the Office of Strategic Initiatives, plans to embark on a robust fundraising campaign.

Speaking at the end of the five days meeting, the President and Chief Executive Officer, Louis Nkembi said each department will be provided with the necessary resources to carry out their planned activities unperturbed. Meantime, he called of members on various departments to continue building their capacities and empowering themselves with the state-of-the-art technologies and knowledge to enable them be relevant in the competitive market. Louis Nkembi announced the creation of a United States (US) branch of ERuDeF in 2018. That is coming months after the United Kingdom (UK) branch of ERuDeF was created earlier in 2017.

The meeting rounded up with all members resolving to put in their best in ERuDeF’s advocacy drive of Saving Rainforests, Conserving Species, and impacting lives.

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